About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.

Author: Mason Butts

Question of the Day (Update): If you invested $1,000 in Netflix stock ten years ago, what would it be worth now?

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Jun 02, 2020
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Question of the Day, Investing
Answer: NFLX: $71,765.89! (as of 5/29/20) Remember when subscribing to Netflix meant watching the mailbox for DVDs?  Netflix shares have been prone to large gains and losses as it has grown into a dominant media company. But like Apple, Netflix wasn’t exactly the company it is today 10 years ago. In May of 2008, Netflix was primarily a mail-order DVD rental company that had just rolled out a streaming service that was capped at 10 hours of free viewing a month for the base...

Question of the Day (Update): What percent of Gen Z has never written a physical check to pay a bill?

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May 25, 2020
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Question of the Day, Checking Accounts
Answer: around 33% Questions: Did this number surprise you? Why or why not? What are examples of bills that might require a physical check? As Gen Z gets older, do you expect this number to be higher or lower? Explain. Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (from Forbes): "Young adults are using peer-to-peer payments more than the two generations before them. That’s despite...

Question of the Day (UPDATED): How many of the top 10 Financial Apps can you Name?

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May 19, 2020
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Question of the Day, Checking Accounts, Budgeting
Here's the leader board as of 5/17/20 (from SimilarWeb): Questions:  Do you have financial apps on your phone? If so, which do you use most often? If not, why not?  What are the pros of cons of using your mobile phone to manage your bank account? Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.   Behind the numbers (from Forbes): As more payments take place electronically and bank branches slowly disappear,...

Question of the Day (Updated): What is the median savings account balance for Americans under 35?

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May 17, 2020
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Question of the Day, Savings, Research
Answer: $1,000 Questions: Explain why the the median savings for each age group is lower than the average savings by age as indicated in the article? What is the relationship between age and savings accounts balances? Explain why you think the relationship exists.  How much will you need to have in a savings account to feel secure (sleep well at night)? Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (from 2019...

Question of the Day: What percent of teens started saving money by age 12?

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May 12, 2020
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Question of the Day, Savings, Research
Answer: 56% From Lexington Law & TD Ameritrade Summer Jobs and Internships Survey:  "Teenagers are smart and they’re learning from the struggles of those that came before them. With this in mind, we can see they’re opening their financial horizons by both earning and saving earlier in their lives." Questions:  What do you think are some of the benefits of saving? Are you currently saving? Why or why not? Do you have any savings strategies or habits that work for...

Question of the Day: For the two-thirds of kids who get an allowance, what's the average weekly amount they receive?

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May 10, 2020
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Question of the Day, Budgeting, Savings
Answer: About $30/week Questions:  If you currently receive an allowance... Do you have to do chores to earn it? Do you save any of it? For a larger purchase or save in a bank?  How long have you been receiving it? If you don't receive an allowance currently... Did you ever receive one? Do you have a job and earn money that way? What experiences do you have with earning and spending money?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the...

Interactive Monday: Claim Your Future Budgeting Interactive

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Apr 19, 2020
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Interactive, Budgeting
An easy to use budgeting interactive is the perfect tool for any personal finance course transitioning to online learning. Shout out to FAME - Finance Authority of Maine for creating exactly that. FAME’s Claim your Future gives your students a simplified look at the budgeting process in a budgeting interactive that takes less than 15 minutes to complete. It starts with a brief assessment and then provides a randomized (or chosen) profession/income. Then students get to decide how much to...

Mason Butts - When Students ask about Taxes...

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Nov 18, 2019
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Personal Finance
“Mister… why don’t we learn something in school that affects my life? Like taxes?”  a student asked me as we began to discuss the microscopic structures of a cell. It was a common occurrence during my time as a science educator. Students found interest in many aspects of our biological world, but the value of personal finance education was at the forefront of their minds and experiences as youth living in South Los Angeles. Many of my students learned from a young...